Death is final. Grief is an individual process. All that you feel you need to do, is just what you need to do, I have been told. Now I have experienced it. Except for the feeling of joining your lost loved one, it can be surprisingly real-fight that urge as real as it may feel. Embrace the sadness, recognize, allow and let go, find your gratitude, replace with a warm heart feeling. Breath, a process you might want to practice. It helped me. It is not easy for many to allow your grieving to process but stuffing is not good to do, I believe it causes dis-ease. This is a second Journal of a great loss.
1-12-2021 found this today pretty good list of possibilities;
NORMAL MANIFESTATIONS OF GRIEF
1. Loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea
2. Feeling of emptiness in the stomach
3. Lump in the throat
4. Tightness in the chest
5. Feeling of weakness
7. Inability to sleep, early morning awakening, extreme fatigue
8. Grinding the teeth during sleep
9. Dryness of the mouth
10. Inability to concentrate, forgetfulness regarding what is being done in the middle of a task, forget what is being said in the middle of a sentence
11. Loss of time perception
12. Difficulty with remembering or maintaining a schedule
13. Intense sense of loneliness and feeling of social isolation
14. Overwhelming sense of sadness
15. Longing for life to return to the way it was
16. Crying at unanticipated times
17. Over-sensitivity to noise
18. Breathlessness, frequent sighing
19. Restlessness, inability to complete normal tasks or read a book
20. Experience occasions of resentment that “life goes on” for others
21. Hear, smell, see loved one, particularly in familiar settings
22. Need to retell the details of the loss again and again
23. Experience a feeling of anger at the loved one for dying
24. Temporarily attempt to preserve life “as it was” for the loved one
25. Have recurrent feelings of guilt or remorse
26. Assume characteristics, mannerisms of the loved one
27. Have a sense of unreality about life and the death of the loved one
Most importantly I believe Grief as stress if not embraced and processed but stuffed instead is dis-ease left unattended will someday grow into disease growing somewhere in your body. It is important for you to gain knowledge between grieving feeling sorrow and depression. If you do not seek experts (as I do) to meet with then at least read and educate yourself-knowledge is important. Grief and depression I find is a fine line between them and it takes knowledge and work for me. As I do not accept taking a prescription to make things appear better. Some recommended reading https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-for-living-with-depression-1066834 also https://www.verywellmind.com/grief-and-depression-1067237
A bit of back story, my childhood dream was imagining me and all my friends and family living together on the same land trading what we needed with each other. There was no graveyard in my imagined life, I have avoided accepting death as long as I could.
By Saturday the 17th the hospital called me again asking permission to continue treatment, but could not tell me anything-the rules our governing system creates!!!!! But her mate was giving in and he soon opened communication to her father as i had kindly been asking him to do, through texting one another as he had no phone service. It was Beautiful and my heart warmed…..her Father was at her side for days.
When they put her on the ventilator Saturday, October 17th my hopes for her went 50-50. I knew new things could go either way, and other thoughts I will share later. I suppressed my thoughts of losing her and focused on this being an opportunity for new beginnings. I called on our amazing family for group prayers, omes, spirit ceremonies later in the week at 9pm each night-powerful, my experience.
10-22-20 Beginning of the week her Father arrived they meant so much to each other, seriously!!!. He stayed with her for days, driving from the youngest Son’s home, where the oldest Son joined them for a day. Thursday my daughters Son my grandson (we live together) and I drove to the next town Coeur d alene, Kootenai General Hospital. My Grandson made the choice to go see his Mother. We met Her Father, her two brothers and had things to take care of plus visit. We all stayed strong-no drama everyone just loving, this warmed my heart. Only one moment I lost it as I watched her Son agree to the DNR was all it took.
I turned and cried till the other end of the parking lot and found a wonderful boulder size rock and collapsed in the pebbles to whale loudly crying. It is what I do to get it out and I knew my grandson knew what I was doing so no family would follow hoping he would let them know I would be OK. Anyways I have wrapped myself as best I can holding this rock and also hoping no one taps my shoulder to ask if I am ok. I would have had to say “no I am NOT!!” or “What does this look like” not sure I would have been nice, I guess. But I got it out and felt some relief. (You can do what you have to do, just go let it out.)
This is when we all regathered at Tubbs hill for a hike together, enjoying talks one on one trading off. We spent time on a rock cliff throwing rocks at a pine cone my youngest Son had thrown in the lake for us to try to hit. It was therapeutic I think for all of us. On the walk back their Father and I enjoyed old times, stories of her and our old friends, even laughing together. I heard later we really warmed our Son’s hearts as they had not seen this between their Mother and Father for very many years. I sadly thanked my daughter for bringing us together again, thinking she was also enjoying it. Then the next day-a longest day ever passed waiting to hear for her improvement but nothing good.
10-24-20 With the covid Virus only one person every 24 hours was allowed in to see her. Saturday the hospital was open to who wanted to see her up to 4 to say goodbyes. I called her Father at her side and he put the phone to her ear to say my good byes. I had her Son at home with me and new she did not want me or him to see her this way-I felt to /respect her wishes, like to honor her. That afternoon I was told with her father holding her hand on one side of her and her little brother holding the other while Over the Rainbow played they disconnected her from support and let her go peacefully. I felt she was at peace.
BACKSTORY; October 24th the same date we lost our sweet loving grandson, just a toddler, the same date 2009! Then 2 years later i stayed with my very best life long friend at that time of 47 years as she ascended the same date!!!. I can only imagine it is some kind of portal. Today her Son who lives with me and was with me the morning his Pappy and my husband who unexpectedly died in our arms in 12 minutes 0n 2/2/2016 we have experienced tragic losses and others.
10-25-20 I did wake this morning thinking I am still alive and living times, in the past I saw as humanly impossible yet here I am. Honestly I cannot question myself, that may be all it would take to burst the veil of strength around me. I do wonder is it the past years of mourning the thought of living this day. Her years of alcoholism knowing it is killing her! Thinking of all the things we did to try and help her, failing!!. Is it the few talks with my counselor that these times will come? Out living your Child?!!! Or is it the Mother strength for her living family, siblings or my past experiences of living though other unimaginable losses. Was it the many times my Mother intuition “that filled me” then I would reach out to her with my love each time she fell ill and I would morn her again.
11-5-2020 Yesterday was the Birth of my Baby Girl. I mourned her leaving for years as she slowly was killing herself. Years ago she was told she would die that her liver could not handle the alcohol she consumed. But she could not stop but for a short time at times. last time a few years back she stopped as she was so yellow from her liver poisoned. Years i have grieved but i never thought so far as to think of living on her Birthday and she was not. On a Sunny day 2 days before her Birthday I sat in the Sun as the coming grey days were predicted. I sat with my Pony embracing my sorrow and that she was gone. I had not been eating just did not desire food but the next 2 days I cooked meals and ate them. The week continued to be full of reality settling in for grandson also we did our best to continue eating even though we really were not hungry. Sadly we have done this before after my husband died, not that it is easier. It is different each time and we used our knowledge and experience to do our best taking care of ourselves feeling grateful that we had each other. UA-3648303-4
11-11-20 My daughter I want to believe she did not spend time with me or share her life. I feel it was because she wanted to spare me the hurt she knew I would feel by being able to see that she was not caring for herself. She loved me enough to spare me the pain and yet gave me her Son, I know this sounds odd but how I choose to see it. Since her son was 3 he has had a room in once our home. He spent most of his time out of school time here.
He has lived here full time now since June 2019. Going home to visit with her at times. This last June he said she spent most of her time in bed and he was just realizing that his Mother was a chronic alcoholic. He came home here and asked me if you can get refunds on your Mom. Interesting way for a Son to see his Mother I felt.
11-13-20 I learned this morning why I have been taking night time showers and not my morning ones as I have done for years. In my morning shower I have a shut off value above my shower head ( you might want one) . It allows me to stop the flow of water keeping the temperature the same. This is when I turn it off, kneel down into a child’s pose and say my gratitudes and speak the Names of lost Loved ones hoping to give them a tingle or something that they are remembered and loved wherever it is that they are.
I cried hard when I added her name and this is when I realized why I had not been taking my morning showers. Understanding this is good, it encourages those emotions, I can hold back, letting me embrace my sorrows and let them out. I then thank them for their time with me, our life together and all that they gave to me to go forward in life with.
11-17-20 Wow I had not realized so many days have passed since I took a morning shower, as I did this morning but I did not speak, I could not. I am already holding emotions as I know we will be going to her house for the first time to get things…
This grieving time I feel like I just got plunked down to ride a rapid river, with resting coves ,that I have smiled often in this whole time-different.
11-18-20 We (grandson and I ) did get the call to come load my car and her car for him to have if we take over the behind debt owed. We arrived to already packed boxes and trash bags of her clothes. We held it together while her mate cried a lot of the time. I had an intense rush of emotions when I saw her Horse show award belt buckle same as mine, I grabbed it and slid into my back pocket. It was what some might say was a sober time for us as we visited and some stories were told where I heard so often how much she was like her Mother-o my heart. She even wore her clothes out in the same places I do. I had known she was very much like me. I at her age decided not to be anymore. For years now I have talked to her about the difference once you decide to make changes as I knew she was that me I was, with my Mothers drinking needs.
11-19-20 emotional Morning after the last two days and going through 2 big black trash bags of her clothes-had too. Yesterday I drove to the next town to have my car serviced where my grandson’s other grandmother lives. So while service is being done she picked us up and went back to her place to visit. It was hard to hear the grandson tell a story of him driving around town with his Mom and him knowing she was drunk-I never knew this story or that he had seen his mother like this, hard for me. She hid her drinking so he never knew his Mother was under the influence most his life.
11-28-20 Thanksgiving I had to watch my grandson grieve for his Mother, he loves her cooking and how she loved to cook. He appears angry when he hurts and it is heartbreaking for me to see. If only I had that magic wand to wave and make all be grateful with joy. So I dressed in a wild tropical dress and made fun of the day for him as best I could. I cooked a Turkey with my favorite dressing and some yams. We did not eat together at a table but in our own spaces. He needs to grieve I know.
We have a choice what we think whether we want to believe it is this simple or not. Grieving never has an end. You either stuff it for later or as disease in your body or you challenge yourself to process it. It is not all at once but comes up when hopefully you can embrace it allowing the painful emotions to be released and in your mind replace them with your love and gratitude of that person, sometimes a tragic event, place or, loss of pet. . Making your thoughts choose a comforting memory in place of hurt.
A thought; My daughter had the most beautiful soul and she just could not allow herself to connect. She had a disease that kept her Earthly vessel numb and she could not beat it, with such sadness a I do not want to believe loss. But now she is at Peace and her Soul is Free…
12-3-20 Well 3 days ago was a really hard to think kinda day, forgetting things, just hard to think whatever I tried to do. Well it still seems true to my past grief experience. It means I need to allow myself to cry and embrace my sorrow bringing in grateful memories for each sorrow. I can be so stubborn and I have not had my grief mentor to help as much as in the past experiences. So yesterday was full of small bursts of tears, but today it came the big heartfelt cry. Crazy now I can think-weird how that works. Not saying it may be the same for you but maybe you will recognize your own process. You are in my thoughts it is work to feel a warm heart when thinking of someone you have lost. It is how I choose to honor the lives they shared with me.
12-7-20 Since Grandson and I have experienced loss together when I say we need to walk he joins in. Often we talk in the beginning of the walk how we do not want to be doing this but know we ought too. Every time by the end of the walk we let each other know that this was good and glad we made ourselves do it. Kinda the same with eating some days, grateful we have each other to help each other.
12-11-20 Grandfather, my husband who acceded / died very suddenly in our arms 2-2-2016 one morning after he called us out of bed. It was his Birthday yesterday and having Daughter feelings mixed in sure made it a bit different. I have to say I feel a little proud of myself for the choices I made yesterday-feels good?-hmmm always a bit of a cringe feeling to say I feel good, when she -they are gone.
Choice; I have to add that to my bucket of Dislikes,(been in bucket since I was very young 🙂 ) Assumption, Jealousy, Expectations!, responsibility, unconditional, they hold so much for just a written word I have learned over the past years, but that’s in another blog. Grandson has been feeling things, holiday stuff. We did get a Christmas tree yesterday. It feels like last year was the first time we really did a tree and decorate. Least since husband passed in 2016
!2-18-20 Spent yesterday staying out of the Kitchen while Grandson baked cookies for Christmas gifts-warmed my heart. Today he woke very dark. Days have been harder; it seems at least 4 days, maybe more. I was thinking how grief can be a process for some of just embracing those heartache memory moment waves kinda. Then in time introduce another thought of being a heartwarming memory to be reminded of a time. Kinda heartache to a warm heart isn’t that we all want our family to feel when we are gone. I believe never forgotten, none of them and all that they shared with me, it is an honor feeling. I do not have waves as often this time, I do believe It is do to less memories to process-I’m thinkin. More of how my daughter gave her love to me, protecting me. Sniff Then for me is the struggle with being content and not wanting.
12-22-2020 My heart is aching so much today!!! I find I am not able to embrace my emotions when they rise for fear her Son will hear. I wrote to my grief meeting group leader yesterday updating him and he said this; Yes,I am thinking that the two of you could do grief acceptance group class, yourself. I could send you the paperwork and exercises. One is to write a letter to your loved one and then have a ceremony where you burn it so it can go to the other side.Let me know your thoughts.I told him that sounded wonderful.
12-28-20 Well Grandson and I did good making the best memories for our Christmas day then both of us stayed in bed almost till Noon the next day and in our own spaces full of our grief. Intense sorrow that day and the past few days. You have heard me say how important it is to allow those emotions a place to go, to let them out. It is not something I am good at telling those I love the most. I just hoped for them and last night a call from my daughter helping her through her huge explosion of harbored grief took over her and scared her. I will return, have to go for now.
1-9-21 Big heart ache today, lots of good tears. Being my Birthday as I woke I remembered today was one of those special days I would see or hear from my baby girl and since it is just one of two special days I had not really realized my dependence on it till I woke this morning. Grandson and I have been doing better the last maybe 4 days but the 5-6 days before very grey outside and we both were trading our dark moments and even darker moments trying not to influence the other by staying to ourselves best we could while living together. We pretty much live as separate as we can normally. He rarely shares his time with me down stairs and I rarely spend time up stairs except to sleep. Food brings us together most often for him to take back upstairs.
1-12-21ish In reading on grief this article written around the need for medication they would say after 6 months if you are not better than you need help with a drug. I have definitely decided your deep grief is going to last as long as it takes you to have memories that bring warmth to your heart when you think of them. So depending on the times shared or your closeness along with your own personality is how long it will take without a prescription. I have used many Natural herbs and remedies so you know, for anxiety and to avoid depression in the past. I just started the microdose program as I am struggling with staying away from depression.
1.19.21 My daughter and I had the best time watching a horseshow rail class and seeing who called the placing the closest to the judges, maybe ya had to have been there. Grief has been very active; the grey days help it out.
1.26.21 That River I am in seems to have some murky dark lagoons to wallow in, then swim out of. Feeling the 30 years of my life past experience in self suffering having very little gratitude, feeling conflicted. I am realizing my daughter is gone…
1.30.21 It seems this has been a Month of the reality that she has died. I do not think even a handful of mornings i woke without tears then or sometime in the days. Some days all day several times after allowing the 3 days of deep sorrow doing what I have to do like personal care, participate in life. Have to hold on to kindness, love, gratitude and forgiveness the most difficult right now to have for myself. I have decided my ability to self destruct is a genetic inheritance, from my Mom’s mom.
2-13-21 Last week went by well so last weekend I sorted through her things been working that through. Then yesterday her mate told me about how she got to the hospital. As she wanted no one to know her business information has been at a trickle. Today I tried to process what I learned. A ambulance, a med-flight, he never got to talk to her as she was unconscious. He said he understood now how it was for me to loose my husband suddenly without words. It maybe the isolation we are in but I feel so so lonely in this grief, trying to do the best I can, it is what I know. Our minds can be so cruel, an odd statement when you know it is our choice what we think. In list above “days of loss time and perception” I find I have to dig deep for patience, as it can feel so close to just losing it, I think. Essence I have felt was that sadly personal material things of your lost one and the more you remember them with joy the stronger the essence. Maybe it is one for my lexicon, I googled it and found nothing like I think, said smiling. 2/22 Long dark day-weather is way too gloomy for processing grief easier and the isolation has not helped, underwater
3-7-21 March is here to march us into Spring I have always thought. Finding the grey day hard to even do my chores. It was my chores that helped me though the unexpected loss of my husband 2016. This time I find it difficult to even do my chores.
3-12-21 the Sun has been with us a few days and i have felt capable, so gotten some things done that were needed like correspondence for her car sitting in my drive for her Son, behind in months of payments. some walks also, I was thinking about grief and what it has given, I do not think I can get anymore humbled, since husband passed i have seen what Ego is in myself-interesting. I have gratitude imbedded in my daily life along with forgiveness which I have embraced and has such a broad way of applying, I never saw before. So much love for them I have had to allow back within myself, sometimes i could explode with all this love. I miss them all my husband, my daughter, my life long best friend, my other best friend, my grandson, my brother, my nephew and so many other friends all such beautiful humans-lucky me to of share some of their life and selves with me, I will always hold them close..
3-14-21 this morning I realized when writing to a friend that my memories of her before these last 10years still hurt my heart, my baby, my beautiful daughter, that she could not get beyond her addiction. Then with all the past 10 years with all the grief I had for her those memories give me a kinda comfort, maybe not the perfect word, but that she is at peace. Such a confusing loss to process.
3-24-21 a grey day, today some photos came to me of memories of her that brought me heart ache, I feel a good needed cry shall come. While going through her things I left her robe setting on a chair now for sometime. Today I picked it up and held it tight smelling her scent. It helped me shed the tears that I did not want to stuff within myself. Yesterday i felt some anger and confusion about why she could not just not drink. Last year she gave me her jacket and i think she new at that time that her liver was too far gone. O how I wish she would of invited me to be with her in this last year. She was always a strong willed person, I believe she was protecting me. Much stronger then I and as I say that I think of her older brother saying “I don’t think so Mom, you are the strongest person I know.” Things we do not see in ourselves is never ending. Our children teach us so so much if we are willing to learn. Feels like a day to process.
4-9-21 Grandson said yesterday that it is still not real to him and that he new it was coming do to his own observation of her health. Last night i thought how when someone so near a dear to you dies, it leaves you with the Trauma of it to process before you can allow grieving. Just my experience. Just take extra care, trade heart ache for warm hearted thoughts as they would want for you as often as you can. Embrace, nurture and do something you enjoy.
4-11-21 I just re-read this and made very few corrections as I have found the errors to be an expression of the moment. As healing advances so does the writing so please understand. Yesterday was her god-mothers my best life long friends birthday to celebrate if she was her. it was a day fog or melancholy sure a beautiful words how it rolls off the tongue but for such sadness, English language my thoughts another story.
5-15-21 Been a very long Month the weeks prior to Mothers Day. Thoughts of how it was Ted and Katherine who always made sure Mothers Day was special. One or the other always made sure I got my Fuchsia basket, how I never told her how much I appreciated her for always caring for my Birthday and mothers Day even though we did not hang out much we did talk and shop at Yokes on occasion. I always learned from her this I did let her know. All my healthier living was inspired and taught by her. Lots of crying this Month and even though Mothers Day has past it has not. Least once or twice a day big heart cries. I have gone to weekly music nights for 20 some years most with Ted. They recently began them again after 14 months of Civid 19 isolation. A new person came and played Ted’s kay. The first I have heard it played with such strong fingers as Ted. It sent me outside to process my emotions and grateful it is a place safe to do. O my heart aches today I must find something wonderful to do. I so desire a shoulder to cry on.
7-6-21 well kinda feeling the same as written in May.
8-3-21 Today was a wedding day to the best man ever Ted Bowers also gone, remaining in our hearts, I find no kindness in death for the loved ones left behind maybe if it is a lesson learned might be a kindness-maybe. Today I will let this be public I still cry a bit most days for the loss of my daughter and others sometimes. It is good means I am allowing the process after so many years of guidance I am allowing myself sorrow. No one is here to give me something to cry about as my Mother told me :). A generational thing.
Almost 9-2021 I went to get coffee and saw a young woman that looked like Katherine, it brought me to some very hard tears. I took my coffee to the barn and cuddled in the hay to cry hard. So grateful for a barn to go to. Still crying today. So in working grief you feel where the pain is with my husband it was in my chest. But this with katherine it is in my throat-says I had more to say to her. It is ok, I have cried not everyday this month but most.
10-5-21, Life has been hard with my girl gone. I have cried each day since my last post. I also learned I have childhood issues that do not help in my letting go. Self work has been abundant. I can hear Ted saying time to take a break, I wish our lives were still together, my time now was never foreseen. Life is not all hard i do find some fun just seems harder to do. Had to get vaccinated and since my energy has been little-making life harder. I feel the 24th when she died nearing each day wondering what she was doing last year at this time-was she hurting most likely if only we could have talked. So much unsaid happens when you do not talk.
10-18-21 O the tears are getting harder, today they seem unstoppable thinking of her last year at this time now on life support.
12-27-2021 Well it seems I am just a weepy person maybe making up for all the years “I could not cry unless my Mom would give me something to cry about.” I refer to it being a life commandment. It is my most memorable tool I received to begin my self search. I missed this one until I started to learn about processing grief. In the late 90’s in a class I had to list all my “life Commandments” then read out loud to a empty chair to the person who gave me the commandment, thanking them and letting them know it is not a commandment for me to continue living with. Grieving has been just as much grief as learning about myself for me. Seems I find myself clearing room within myself to embrace and hold on to or make part of me the things I love of my lost loved one. The things that warm my heart about them. I have cried almost everyday as I did the second year after my husband died unexpectedly. Some of is also on 10-25-2021 my next door renter of 9 years died of Covid unexpectedly and I am finding i have the most anger then ever in grieving with his loss. Just starting to get beyond the disbelief of it. My lovely daughter’s Son and I did good over the Holidays, I am proud of us. We enjoyed pleasant heart warming moments now memories together.
1-6-22 Been hearing her voice in my head…
1-13-22 Her Son is not living in the house now full time now and I have had freedom to process my emotions with less concerns of worrying my grandson. O he has heard me cry but not a deep hard cry, it would have just worried him. I enjoyed 2 times now, so needed. Yesterday the day started out good I thought then when returning home from a run to the store. When a I pulled to the side of the rode to let it pass. As I watched it driving towards Hope/ClarkFork where she lived, I cried so hard!!! The day before at CO-op I ran into a high school class mate of hers who loved her and did not know she was no longer with us. It is hard to give hurt to someone with news.
4-7-22 Was a good winter for shedding emotions doing the work to process. They other day I woke with that hard to think I may have mentioned before. Know I had tears to process I embraced them for most the days. It was hard but good. Next day I talked with a friend about it as she too lost a daughter. When I said to her that yesterday I was just so stuck in hurt not understand why she made the choices she did. My friend says , “She did not really have the choice”. See my Mom was a alcoholic, drank morning till night if possible. You never saw her drink and she kept her bottle of Vodka in the pots and pan cabinet. My baby girl inherited my Mom’s habit that most often will skip even other generation. Last night I joined these thoughts with my problem with corporations and so heart breaking results. To think how our wonderful money making heartless human in our society have a forever garenteed income as our society breeds a population that needs their product. The lives alcohol has taken just gives our medical system financial support also. Look at diabetes and more. Just heart breaking the greed in our society.
4-18-22, feeling a lack of purpose today. last Mom through Wed was very hard processing my girl. Just so sad she made the choices she did and would not let me help her. I even called out her name and the sensation came from deep in my gut. Yesterday was a very lonely Easter.